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Celerity's Journal
Celerity's Journal
December 25, 2018

California is in danger of losing a House seat after adding 2.3 million people


From 2010 to 2018, the state of California added about 2.3 million people according to new estimates released by the US Census. Its population, already the largest in the US, to close to 39.6 million. And California’s population increase of 6.2% has been greater than the 6.0% increase across the country.

Yet, due to the US’s complicated rules for giving states representation in Congress, California might soon lose one of its seats in the House of Representatives. Losing that seat would also mean the loss of a vote in the Electoral College, which determines the winner of presidential elections.

Since 1913, the number of representatives in the lower chamber of Congress has been capped at 435. While each state has two members in the higher chamber of the Senate, the number of its representatives to the House is determined by the size of a state’s population—though each state is automatically given one representative. (Populous California has 53 representatives, for example, and Alaska just one.)

Every 10 years, after the US government conducts its comprehensive census, the House’s representatives are reapportioned by state. For most, this doesn’t lead to a change. For those that grew much faster or slower than the country as a whole, it can mean gaining or losing power. Fast-growing Texas gained four seats after the 2010 Census as its population exploded. New York lost two seats. On average, after the 2010 Census, a House member represented about 700,000 people.


The number of seats in the House needs to be dramatically increased and more fairly distributed. That is a major fix for the both the Electoral College and the inequity of legislative power in the House itself.
December 22, 2018

Scared yet? Ted Lieu sends a red alert on Trump and nuclear first strikes


Scared yet? If so, support HR 669 / S 200 by Sen @EdMarkey and me. The bipartisan legislation prevents @POTUS from launching a nuclear first strike without Congressional authorization.


"Thursday's decision by Jim Mattis to leave the stifling, rapidly collapsing confines of Trump’s insane clown posse administration was always inevitable, but that hardly makes the psychological impact of his departure any less traumatic." - @TheRickWilson
December 21, 2018

Ayanna Pressley Will Get Her Dream Office Thanks To Fellow Rep.-elect Katie Hill


Ayanna Pressley's longtime dream has been to occupy the office once held by her "shero" Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to ever be elected to Congress. Pressley, who defeated a 10-term incumbent in the primary and in November became Massachusetts' first Black congresswoman, has often spoken about how Chisholm paved the way for women like her to serve the country.

This is why at the office lottery for freshman lawmakers, a high-stakes event that took place at the end of the congressional orientation last month, Pressley tried to channel Chisholm's good vibes as she drew her number. But the Democrat from Massachusetts' 7th congressional district wasn't so lucky, drawing the slot no. 38 out of 85, which left her with poor chances of getting to pick her dream office.

Enter Katie Hill, an incoming representative from California who was also one of the many women who pulled major upsets against Republican incumbents in the midterm election. Hill, from CA-25, offered to swap offices with Pressley because she knew how much Chisholm's legacy meant to her.

The former Boston city councilwoman tweeted Monday: "Wow! TY Mommy for the extra bday luck! We just learned my Congressional Office designation will be #ShirleyChisholm's former office. How's that for divine intervention, AND the selflessness of my colleague @KatieHill4CA who drew a better lottery# but still wanted me to have it."
In a retweet, Hill responded: "No doubt you’re going to do amazing things from that office — I am so excited to serve with you!"


December 11, 2018

A Rhode Island School District Is Sending Debt Collectors After Families Over Unpaid Lunches

A school district in Rhode Island wants its lunch money back—and has hired a private debt collection agency to go after parents to get it.


The chief operating officer of schools in Cranston, Rhode Island, recently sent a letter to parents warning them that the district had hired Transworld Systems, a private debt collector, to compel families with unpaid lunch balances to hand over the money, according to a local news report by WPRI.

A week’s worth of lunches in Cranston elementary schools costs $12.50. In middle and high school, that price goes up to $16.25. According to the school’s “unpaid lunch policy,” reported by ThinkProgress, students who do not have money for lunch can charge up to five hot meals. If at that point they do not repay their debt, they are fed a “sunny butter sandwich, fruit, and milk” instead of a hot lunch each day—though they are still charged the full lunch price. The policy also encouraged families to apply for free or reduced-priced hot lunches, which are available based on income.

In his letter, the Cranston school district COO, Raymond L. Votto Jr., argued that the step to hire a debt collector was a financial necessity for the district, which has amassed an unpaid lunch balance of $45,859 just since September. The district had previously required families to pay their full school lunch bill by the end of the school year, but many did not pay. Over the past two school years, the district’s unpaid balance lunch balance reached a total of $95,508, according to Votto. “The District lunch program cannot continue to lose revenue,” he wrote.

Transworld Systems will begin attempting to collect the debts on January 2, WPRI reports. Parents who do not pay—or who can’t afford to—could then be reported to national credit bureaus, affecting their credit score.


November 25, 2018

You Can't Get Conservative White Women To Change Their Minds

The great electoral opportunity of 2020 is not in converting Trump voters. It’s motivating the large numbers of Americans who don’t vote at all.


Why is it so hard to believe that Trump supporters really do support Trump? The New York Times is always checking in with folksy rural conservatives in search of cracks in the wall. Remember the article just a few weeks ago with the white evangelical woman who put a Beto O’Rourke sticker on her car and drove it to church—and there, in the parking lot, was another car with a sticker for Beto?

For almost three years now, reporters have been begging tired farmers and miners eating their pancakes at Josie’s Diner in Smallville, Nebraska, to say they’ve seen the light. They never do. White evangelical women sneaking away from the Republican Party make for a good story—but they didn’t stop Ted Cruz from getting 81 percent of the white evangelical vote in Texas.

After Trump took the White House, and even after political scientists and pollsters figured out that many Trump supporters were not out-of-work Rust Belters but just your basic well-off Republicans, there was an orgy of self-criticism among Democrats and progressives. Somehow, those voters were our fault; we had neglected them, disrespected them, not felt their pain. The important sociologist Arlie Hochschild wrote a whole book about right-wingers in the Louisiana bayous who rejected curbs on the oil and gas industry that was destroying their way of life and instead blamed their problems on others (people of color, immigrants, women) “cutting in line.” In Strangers in Their Own Land, Hochschild called on us to climb the “empathy wall.” The unstated implication was that liberal condescension—not Trumpers’ racism, say—is the problem.

Another version of this idea is to call on progressive white women to convert other white women who support Trump. Nobody calls on white men to convert white men, because everyone assumes that’s impossible, but for some reason, white women who hate abortion and taxes and Obamacare, who want to “build the wall” and “lock her up,” are supposed to be pliable—and it’s the duty of liberal white women to expiate their own racism by bringing them around. It reminds me of the time years ago when a group of Nation interns came back after spending a weekend at a conference of Evangelical women. They beat themselves up about how those women weren’t feminists; again, it was all our fault.

November 19, 2018

Maxine Waters wants to investigate Trump, but her party may resist

More moderate Democrats fear that oversight investigations will be a distraction or cause political blowback for the party.


Rep. Maxine Waters is running into an unexpected obstacle in her bid to investigate a president who has mocked her as a “low IQ person”: members of the California Democrat's own party.

Waters, the incoming chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, has promised to follow the “Trump money trail,” targeting the Trump Organization’s hundreds of millions in loans from Deutsche Bank, the German lender that has been under scrutiny in connection with Russian money laundering. But the committee has a handful of moderates who worry that such aggressive moves will backfire.

“The American people will understand thoughtful, well-grounded investigations," said Rep. Jim Himes, a Connecticut Democrat. “But they will bridle at investigations that seem overtly political." That tension between cautious Democrats and those who want to train their subpoena firepower at the White House is being repeated throughout the House, as establishment veterans face off against progressives out for revenge against President Donald Trump.

While much of the base wants lawmakers to take on Trump and big corporations that have benefited from his tax cuts and deregulation, more moderate members fear that oversight investigations will be a distraction or cause political blowback for the party. They want to see a policy focus instead and don't want to be pulled too far to the left.


Jim Himes' main contributors the last year (for full disclosure purposes)


Rep. Jim Himes: Top 3 Democratic Leaders in Late 70s Is ‘A Problem’


New Democrat Coalition chairman won‘t say whether he‘ll back Pelosi for speaker

Once Pelosi loyalists, some CT Dems now weighing support for her leadership



Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, said he and more than 60 other members of a centrist group of Democrats called the New Democrat Coalition, which includes Courtney and retiring Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, also want to hear from Pelosi about her agenda for the next Congress before they make a decision on whom they will support.

“I haven’t made any commitments on any level,” of House leadership, Himes said.

Himes hopes to chair the House Intelligence Committee in the next Congress. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is the highest-ranking Democrat on that committee, which is expected to reopen the investigation into Russian election interference during the 2016 campaign and conduct other probes of the Trump administration next year.

However, the intelligence panel is a special congressional committee whose membership is term limited and Schiff would need a waiver – from the House Speaker — to stay on the panel and become its chairman.

November 16, 2018

Much of the actual, (meaning elected members) anti-Pelosi sentiment is coming from the centrists.

I was asked earlier to make this an OP

Some of the new ones who ran on an openly anti-Pelosi stance, then the so-called #5WhiteGuys group.

I am pretty progressive and I 100% fully support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, we so, so need her at this crucial moment!!

Here are some of the new centrists who won whilst running on an openly anti-Pelosi platform

I apologise if I missed some, it takes a lot of digging

Ben McAdams (D-UT-4)

Ben McAdams joins 16 fellow Democrats opposing Nancy Pelosi for speaker


Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11)


Sherrill announced that she would not vote House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi into a House leadership position if she was elected to fill retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s seat.

Anthony Brindisi (D-NY-22) (up until recently had a 100% rating from the NRA as well https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/campaigns-elections/anthony-brindisi-nra-100-percent-rating )

WASHINGTON -- Anthony Brindisi, one of the top recruits for Democrats seeking to take control of the House this year, says he won't support Nancy Pelosi to lead the party if he's elected to Congress.

Jared Golden (D-ME-2)

Democrats agree Poliquin and Pelosi need to go


State Rep. Jared Golden of Lewiston told a forum that he “has no intention of voting for Nancy Pelosi. None at all.”

Max Rose (D-NY-11)


“If the Democratic Party is going to earn back the trust of the American people then we need to show them that we are serious about changing our politics — and that means we need a change in leadership.

Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ-1)


"We need to change the leadership in Washington. After more than a decade of leading House Democrats as Speaker and Minority Leader, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi will not have my support as leader in the next session," Van Drew said in a statement.

Andy Kim (D-NJ-3)


Andy Kim joined a slew of other New Jersey House hopefuls on Saturday when he announced that he would support new leadership in Washington and, by extension, that he would not support House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for a leadership role.

“When I worked in Afghanistan, no one asked me if I was a Democrat or Republican, we just focused on serving the American people,” Kim said. “As I’m now working to help my community here in New Jersey, it’s time we have new leadership on both sides of the aisle in Washington to get the job done.”

All of New Jersey’s non-incumbent Democratic House candidates, save former Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski, have announced they would not reelect Pelosi if they win election.


Joe Cunningham (D-SC-1) (very anti progressive types, called them failures, blasted Obama for pushing country too far to the left, called Hillary a horrible candidate https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/27/opinions/democrats-should-not-tack-left-cunningham/index.html )

New SC Rep. Joe Cunningham pledges he won't back Pelosi 'under any circumstance'


Jason Crow (D-CO-6)


“I won’t be supporting Nancy Pelosi…. I want new leadership to set up and move this country forward.”

Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7) (she also wants to work with Repugs and Trump https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/15/politics/abigail-spanberger-virginia-congresswoman/index.html ) ex CIA

Abigail Spanberger is not backing Nancy Pelosi for House speaker


Statement to NBC News (7/31/2018)

"We need new leadership in Washington, on both sides of the aisle, and at every level, from first-term members to Congressional leadership, and for this reason, under no circumstances, would I vote for Nancy Pelosi to again be Speaker of the House."

Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-8) (another of the ex CIA winners)


"I never want to be disrespectful to someone who has served, especially a woman who has broken glass ceilings," Slotkin said. "I just think we need to hear what people are telling us, which is they want a different generation of leadership on both sides of the aisle. So no, I would not support Nancy Pelosi."

Nate McMurray (D-NY-27) (has not won yet, still fighting Chris Collins)

McMurray Says He Won’t Support Pelosi If Elected To Congress


Haley Stevens (D-MI-11)


Most of Michigan's incumbents indicated they would vote for Pelosi on the House floor if she's the caucus' nominee, but at least two congresswomen-elect — Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stevens — maintain their stance that new leadership is needed.

"I'm not about to just flip my principles now that I'm elected," Slotkin said this week.

Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-7)

is on the fence



Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY-4)
Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA-38)
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-9)
Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA-18)
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA-6)
Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY-26
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13)
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN-5)
Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5)
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-07)
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11)
Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL-11)
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA-08)

See this for a further example of threatening to vote against her (from the Blue Dog, Lieberman-backed, bi-partisanship-pushing, Problem Solvers types)

Stephanie Murphy, 8 other Democrats want promises from Nancy Pelosi in exchange for speaker votes


Nine centrist House Democrats are throwing another hurdle in the path of top party leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as she sprints toward the speaker’s gavel.

It’s not an unexpected obstacle: The nine are members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group formed to promote bipartisanship whose members agreed in September to condition their votes for any speaker candidate on support for a package of rules changes meant to improve how the House operates.

In a letter sent to Pelosi on Tuesday, the nine Democrats reiterated that their speaker votes are on the line and asked for a “written, public commitment” to their proposals by Friday.

“Our constituents and our democracy deserve better,” they wrote. “Put simply, they want us to govern again.”


Signing the letter are Reps. Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), Tom O’Halleran (Ariz.), Jim Costa (Calif.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Daniel Lipinski (Ill.), Darren Soto (Fla.), Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), Tom Suozzi (N.Y.) and Vicente Gonzalez (Tex.).


Bipartisan ‘No Labels’ group’s super PAC network revealed: mega Chicago donors


With a boost from Chicago-area mega donors, including White Sox and Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, No Labels, a group advocating bipartisanship in Congress, has created a network of super PACs to influence the 2018 elections — but doesn’t want its fingerprints on the money.

One of the super PACs, United for Progress Inc., has spent $740,334 as of Sunday to bolster Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., in his March 20 Illinois Democratic primary battle with Marie Newman in the 3rd Congressional District. The names of the super PACS don’t link them to No Labels. A Sun-Times investigation determined super PACS related to No Labels include: United for Progress Inc.; Citizens for a Strong America Inc.; United Together; Govern or Go Home; and Forward, Not Back.

The Sun-Times inquiry included interviews with donors or their representatives and an examination of documents filed with the Federal Election Commission. United for Progress, Inc., is playing political hardball, attacking Newman in the commercials and direct mail pieces it paid for. Lipinski is part of a No Labels offshoot, the congressional “Problem Solvers Caucus.”


THE ILLINOIS CONNECTIONS: Last year, a No Labels leader, former Sen. Joe Lieberman, was a draw at a meeting at the Chicago Club, 81 E. Van Buren. Lieberman was the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee who became an Independent senator from Connecticut.

November 15, 2018

Jacob Wohl Appears To Take Credit For Michael Avenatti Arrest, Earlier Tried To Frame Robert Mueller

Jacob Wohl, the 20-year-old Donald Trump fan who has a prominent profile on Twitter, claims to be behind the arrest of Michael Avenatti.


Jacob Wohl, the 20-year-old Donald Trump mega-fan and conspiracy theorist who on November 2 attempted to stage a hoax accusing Russia Investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller of sexual assault, as NBC News reported, appeared on Wednesday to claim credit for the arrest of Michael Avenatti.

Avenatti, who skyrocketed to fame earlier this year as the media-friendly lawyer for adult video star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Donald Trump, was arrested by Los Angeles detectives on Wednesday on suspicion of domestic violence, the LAPD confirmed on its Twitter account.

The news of Avenatti’s arrest, as the Inquisitr reported, first appeared on the celebrity gossip site TMZ — which initially said that the alleged victim was Avenatti’s estranged wife, Lisa Storie. But after Storie issued a statement through her lawyer, posted on Twitter by CNN correspondent MJ Lee, denying that she was involved in any such incident, TMZ updated its own story.

“We were initially told by our sources the alleged victim was Avenatti’s estranged wife,” TMZ wrote in the update. “We now know it was not. The incident involved a different woman.” The site also reported that Avenatti would be released on $50,000 bail, with an “emergency protective order” prohibiting him from contact with the still-unidentified alleged victim.

November 14, 2018

Voting in Georgia in 21 Easy Steps

number so far of Kemp-purged voters in GA

November 13, 2018

Donald Trump Is Attacking the Florida Recounts Because He Hates Democracy

The president is lying about “election theft” in Florida as part of a calculated strategy to shut down an essential part of the election process.


Donald Trump is wrong about a lot of stuff. But there is nothing that the president is more consistently wrong about than counting votes.

Since he began campaigning for the presidency in 2015, Trump has positioned himself as a win-at-any-cost politician who delights in disregarding the minutia of electoral democracy. He invites his followers to do the same. Trump reimagines results all the time. Famously, he claimed he won a “massive landslide victory” in the 2016 election where he actually finished 2.9 million votes behind Democrat Hillary Clinton. To protect his fragile ego, the president fosters fantasies about “voter fraud.”

The president is up to his old tricks as he lambastes the officials who are counting and recounting votes in the Florida Senate race between incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Rick Scott. That contest is in “too-close-to-call” limbo, with Scott leading by about 12,500 votes out of 8.2 million cast. The margin is just 0.15 percent. So, now, amid a flurry of confusing and contradictory reports of uncounted and miscounted votes across Florida—a state with a long history of stumbles when it comes to organizing fair and functional elections—county officials are conducting a machine recount in the Senate race.

Recounts are also proceeding in the governor’s race, where Republican Ron DeSantis has a 33,684-vote lead over Democrat Andrew Gillum, and in the contest for state secretary of agriculture, where Democrat Nikki Fried leads Republican Matt Caldwell by 5,326 votes.

The process is demanding, as the deadline for reviewing all three races is Thursday. Trump is making things harder by promoting unsubstantiated claims about fraud and portraying the process as chaotically beyond repair. The president’s solution? Repeat the folly of the 2000 Bush v. Gore Florida recount fight and simply declare the Republican the winner.


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